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Entries in Ali Motahari (80)


Iran Today: Promoting Ahmadinejad and His Man for President

Ahmadinejad Watch --- MPs and Revolutionary Guards Slam President

Ahead of the formal declarations of candidates for June;s Presidential election, prominent figures have spoken out against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his close aide, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai.

Conservative MP Ali Motahari slammed Ahmadinejad, calling him a "spoilt child".

In a direct dig at the President and an indirect jibe at the Supreme Leader, Motahari --- a brother-in-law of Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani --- said that the current crisis in Iran is due both to of Ahmadinejad’s mismanagement and attitude and to the support that he had from "elders".

Motahari has previously tried to summon Ahmadinejad to Parliament to face questioning and possible impeachment.

Hojatoleslam Mojtaba Zolnour, the Supreme Leader's deputy representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has said Ahmadinejad has no power to create problems in the upcoming Presidential elections.

Zolnour said that even if the Guardian Council approves Ahmadinejad's man Rahim-Mashai, he will not get any votes.

Hojatoleslam Mehdi Taeb, the head of the Ammar Strategic Base --- an organization established to fight the so-called “soft war” against Iran --- also spoke out against Ahmadinejad's policies.

Taeb said that last year he warned Ahmadinejad to stay away from Rahim-Mashai, who would disgrace him.

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Iran Live Coverage: The Clerics Vs. Ahmadinejad

See also Wednesday's Iran Live Coverage: Tehran Continues to Push "Positive" Nuclear Talks

2032 GMT: Drone Watch. Pentagon officials have altered their story about the encounter between a Predator drone and an Iranian fighter jet (see 1848 GMT), over or near the Islamic Republic's airspace over the Persian Gulf.

"One of the US aircraft discharged a flare as a warning to the Iranian plane, which then broke off pursuit," spokesman George Little said.

Officials earlier suggested that two Iranian jets had "targeted" the Predator.

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Iran Live Coverage: Please Vote (P.S. --- We Did Not Rig the Last Election)

See also Syria and Iran Feature: 2130 Civilian Prisoners To Be Released in Exchange for 48 Iranian "Pilgrims"
Iran Audio Feature: How Serious is the Oil Crisis? --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Tuesday's Iran Live Coverage: The Regime Admits the Oil Squeeze

2055 GMT: Engineering Elections Watch. Back to our opening story....

The Supreme Leader's representative, Ali Saeedi, may have set off a political storm with his remark that it is the duty of the Revolutionary Guards to "engineer" the elections --- even if the Guards tried to soften that comment by saying it referred only to ensuring security for the vote.

That's because President Ahmadinejad chose to run with the possibility of inappropriate intervention by the Guards: "Whoever wants to manage people's votes will be managed by the people."

A Guards spokesman responded that the President's remark was "astonishing".

1955 GMT: The House Arrests. Leading conservative politician Habibollah Asgarouladi has pulled back on his recent statements that detained opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are not "seditionists".

Asgarouladi had said that the problem was that Mousavi and Karroubi were surrounded by seditious elements, but he told Mehr, in an interview published today, "I never said [they] are not seditionists, I said they are not at the top of the sedition."

Asgarouladi continued, "I've said clearly that they stood against the establishment and the people, and they have to be held responsible."

The politician's initial comments raised speculation that the regime might lift the 23-month house arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi, both candidates in the disputed 2009 Presidential election.

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Iran Live Coverage: Threatening the Reformists

See also Iran Special: 5 Steps for a Breakthrough in the Nuclear Talks
Sunday's Iran Live Coverage: The Smog Shuts Down Tehran

2131 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Labour activist Reza Shehabi has been released from prison on furlough after 23 days on hunger strike.

2108 GMT: Religious Prisoner Watch. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, the Christian convert re-arrested on Christmas Day after serving nearly three years in prison, was freed today, according to individuals close to the pastor and his family.

Nadarkhani was initially released in November. He had been charged with apostasy and sentenced to death before a higher court commuted the sentence.

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The Latest from Iran (19 December): "The Worst Economic Conditions"

1905 GMT: "We Have Problems? You Have Problems" Watch. The head of the Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has made a plea to the International Community --- "Help the American People":

What has been neglected is the United States' oppressed people, specially the oppressed and innocent American children who are the main victims of the US regime which is supported by only 1% of the Americans, and no one in the world cares for them.

It is true that saving the Palestinian people is a top necessity of the Islamic Awakening movement, but liberation of the US people shouldn't be neglected and the international community should rise to save and free oppressed people of the US, specially its youngsters and kids.

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The Latest from Iran (17 November): More Posturing on Gaza

See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Death in Detention to Economic Suffering
Iran Analysis: Assessing the Latest Nuclear Report --- Is There an "Imminent Threat"?
The Latest from Iran (16 November): Taking Advantage of Gaza

2021 GMT: Gaza Watch. Fars reports that 20,000 Basij militia, staging exercises in Isfahan, have declared their readiness to fight in Gaza --- defending and reclaiming the "occupied land.

2005 GMT: Foreign Affairs (US Front). A judiciary statement reports that the US has denied visas to Iranian officials planning to attend a meeting in New York of the United Nations' Third Committee, which focuses on social issues and human rights.

"The U.S. government, by not issuing visas to the members of the delegation, wants to ruin the possibility of the presence of the delegation, and prevent its members from conducting their mission of interacting and cooperating with the United Nations," said the statement.

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The Latest from Iran (22 October): A Mysterious Currency Dealer, Real Executions

See also The Latest from Iran (21 October): How High Is the Rate of Inflation?

2130 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. A far from ringing endorsement for the President from conservative politician Asadollah Badamchian: "The Motalefeh Party was against Ahmadinejad since 2005 but supported him because of religious duty. We voted for him in 2009 to prevent Mir Hossein Mousavi [taking office]."

2125 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Back from a break for a seminar in Manchester to find President Ahmadinejad pressing his request to visit Evin Prison in grand terms....

In a letter to head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, who rejected his approach for the second time on Sunday, Ahmadinejad does not mention his detained senior aide Ali Akbar Javanfekr. Instead, he sets out the mission, "I am determined to implement the Constitution and radically reform the Islamic Republic's affairs, visiting prisons and courts."

Earlier, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei had dismissed Ahmadinejad’s request as a “secondary issue”. He said the government should focus instead on solving Iran’s economic problems.

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The Latest from Iran (29 September): The Economy and the Divisions Within the Regime

See also EA Video Analysis: Iran --- Ahmadinejad in New York "He Came, He Spoke, He Slipped Away"
Iran Feature: Fars News and The Onion Agree --- "Rural American Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama"
The Latest from Iran (28 September): The Next Fall in the Currency

1544 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Prominent human rights lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah has been summoned to Evin Prison to begin his nine-year sentence.

Dadkhah, one of the founders of the Center for Defenders of Human Rights, was arrested less than a month after the disputed 2009 Presidential election. He was sentenced in July 2011 on charges including membership of the CDHR and "spreading propaganda against the system through interviews with foreign media".

1531 GMT: Press Watch. Families of 25 martyrs and veterans of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War have expressed support for Hadi Heydari, cartoonist for the reform newspaper Shargh, in an open letter.

Shargh was banned and its managing editor imprisoned this week over a Heydari cartoon which showed men blindfolding each other in bright light. Authorities argued that the image was an insult to veterans on the 32nd anniversary of the start of the war.

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The Latest from Iran (26 September): Denials, "Fake Allegations", and Ahmadinejad's Speech

See also Our 1st EA Video Analysis: The Sound, Fury, and Insignificance of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran Opinion: Ahmadinejad 100, US Media 0
Iran Audio Feature: Predicting Ahmadinejad's Speech (and Does It Really Matter?) --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
The Latest from Iran (25 September): Which is More Important --- The Ahmadinejad Show or an Economy in Crisis?

1915 GMT: Press Watch. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance has warned that he may ban the reformist newspaper Shargh because of an insulting cartoon during the "Week of Holy Defence", marking the 32nd anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War.

The Minister said that Shargh, whose editor was summoned for an explanation, was propagating "Western culture".

Fars reported that 120 of Iran's 290 MPs have signed a letter condemning the cartoon.

1855 GMT: Tough Tslk Alert (Syria Edition). President Ahmadinejad might have taken a cautious line on Syria during his stay in New York this week, but others have not been so reticent. While 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi was declaring, "Syria Will Eventually Conquer Enemies", MP Hamid Rasaei asserted that the remarks of Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Reza Jafari --- confirming that members of the Quds Force were in Damascus advising the Assad regime --- were those of the Supreme Leader. Rasaei continued, "We intervened in the 33 Days War in Lebanon (with Israel in 2006)."

Rejecting rumours that Iran might press President Assad to step down, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, “Today Syria’s presence in the [anti-Israeli] resistance front is stronger than ever."

All of this provides a counter-point to the line, put out by Press TV today, that "Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, saying Tehran supports dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian opposition.

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The Latest from Iran (24 September): Rafsanjani, Nukes, Ahmadinejad in New York

Nikahang Kowsar links last night's shutdown of Google and Gmail in Iran to President Ahmadinejad's trip to the US

See also Iran Opinion: Thoughts on the US De-Listing of the "Terrorist" Mujahideen-e Khalq
Iran Interview and Analysis: Ahmadinejad's Show Begins with Washington Post --- An Easy Ride on Nukes, And Nothing on Human Rights
Iran Analysis: Daughter in Prison, Son Back in Tehran --- What Now for Ex-President Rafsanjani?

2030 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The US Treasury has officially designated the National Iranian Oil Company as "an agent or affiliate" of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, supporting Washington's pursuit of new sanctions on foreign banks dealing with the NIOC.

The Treasury told Congress that there was not enough information at this time to conclude that the National Iranian Tanker Company is linked to the IRGC.

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